by Chris Bodenner

photo (22)

A reader writes:

I’m really enjoying the Chinese tourist anecdotes. I live in DC and have small children. I take advantage of the amazing tourist attractions here and often take my kids to the various museums and memorials downtown. My children are also very white. Like, Norman Rockwell-white. Despite an ethnic heritage which would seemingly produce darker kids, our recessive genes have created a blonde and a redhead, both with fair skin. These kids are, for some reason, a tourist attraction unto themselves.

On multiple occasions I have been downtown and an Asian tourist or ten (not all Chinese) have gestured to my child and then to his camera and nodded hopefully at me. At first, I would just shake my head and walk quickly in the other direction, but one day I nodded back. I am not sure why. At that point the man (who was in a business suit touring the U.S. Botanic Garden) handed his camera to his friend, squatted next to my son, gave a big “thumbs-up” to his friend, and told the friend to snap the picture. My son was totally perplexed, as was I.

This happens with relative frequency, though I have only consented to it that one time. And it is always Asian tourists. I have attached a picture of it happening to my daughter. I stepped back from the stroller for a moment to document the phenomenon. In this case, none of the tourists asked to photograph my baby. They just started clicking.